Relationships that we care about are the characteristics of tobacco is to pick up moisture from the air when in a moist environment and gives up moisture in a dry climatic condition. So, the tobacco-moisture association is a manufacturers’ pain. Manufacturing cigarettes is a high-skill job requiring trained personnel, sophisticated machinery, and a huge investment. Like all other manufacturing businesses, the cigarette industry has its manufacturing pains. Tobacco and Moisture are the two matters and their relationships that we care about at the time of manufacturing cigarettes. Relationships that we care about are the hygroscopic[1 ] nature of tobacco.
From the field to in a BOPP[ 2] wrap carton, for this whole journey, tobacco requires a controlled moisture condition to achieve smokers’ satisfaction. In a rainy season, a smoker may have experienced high moisture cigarettes that give burning problems or reduced the volume of smoke per puff and proportionately reduced satisfaction. on the other hand, in the winter season, in a dry environment smokers’ experienced spilling tobacco from the mouth of the cigarettes. This problem commonly known in the industry as ‘Loose Ends’.
So, during the processing of tobacco caution is to be maintained throughout to keep the moisture of the tobacco under control. Uncontrolled moisture of the tobacco can lead to a waste of product and can impact the cost of the product as well.
The tobacco that grows in the field is leaves of approximately 2.0 to 3.0 feet in length. The tobacco that we see within a cigarette is a narrow thread-like substance. The leaf from the field goes through processing in the cigarette factory to make tobacco leaf to transform into cut tobacco. It then used as a filler in cigarettes. In the cigarette manufacturing industry, the department where cut tobacco made, called the Blending Department. It called Primary Manufacturing Department (PMD). Cut tobacco, or filler, is the input for Cigarette Making and packing Department or Secondary Manufacturing Department (SMD).
Below is a Flow-Chart showing changes that occurs during processing of raw tobacco to make it filler or cut tobacco. The ups and downs of moisture percentage in tobacco can be noticed. Relationships that we care to make cut tobacco is thus justified.
Steam applied to tobacco at Primary Conditioning Cylinder in Blending Department, It increases the moisture of tobacco and makes it pliable. The pores on the leaves open up in this process. Allows the tobacco to absorb humectant sprayed on it to arrest the hygroscopic nature of tobacco. Humectants chemicals like Sorbitol etc. used to control the hygroscopic nature of tobacco. Some additives also used on tobacco at this stage. It improves the smoke quality. Humectants and additives changed with the change of season.
In the Primary Cylinder tobacco’s moisture, contain requires to increase to make it pliable and good for cutting in the next stage. Moisture contains once again reduced in the conditioning cylinder or drier. It makes the cut tobacco good for cigarette making in a later stage. To dry up cut tobacco, the steam jacket may be used to heat to the conditioning cylinder. The electrical heater also used to dry up tobacco at this stage alternatively.
Let us discuss now the moisture percentage that requires to be maintained in different stages for tobacco to get the ultimate resultant cut tobacco.
For the cigarette industry, SMD is a very important department. The processing of tobacco influences the quality of cigarettes, its flavors, tests, and ultimate customer satisfaction. Also, at PMD the cost of cigarettes controlled and thereby profitability. The control of moisture in the tobacco at PMD is important since low moisture produces dust and high moisture attracts fungus. In both cases the tobacco goes to waste and increases the cost of the final product which is cigarettes.
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